09-22-2005, 12:22 PM #1New Member
- Join Date
- Sep 2005
How to best isolate my chest and basic workout
Alright, Im in the process of making some changes to my current workout plan. For chest ive been doing 3 sets flat bench, 2 sets dumbel flys, 2 sets incline bench. Now, my chest needs major work compared to the rest of my body. I got to thinking today my chest really only feels sore near the upper outer part where it connects to the shoulders after a chest workout. That also happens to be the best looking part of my chest. What should I do to target more in the middle of my chest and say lower part as well, near my nipples? Can you guys post up a basic chest workout?
I was thinking to do a narrower grip and maybe some decline presses as well, but that worries me because my triceps are very strong as well as my shoulders, Im worried Ill use too much triceps or shoulders.
What tips do you have to make sure I am isolating my chest properly during my workouts for someone that has stronger shoulders and triceps?
THanks for any help.
09-22-2005, 01:42 PM #2Banned
- Join Date
- Aug 2004
Ok prepare for all your preconceptions to be blown out the water because here comes the TRUTH...
1.) You can't target the middle of your chest. There is no inner chest, the muscle fibres run continuously along the width of the pectoralis major sternocostal head. Even though research suggests different movements cause shortening of the muscle fibres in more localised regions (eg. inner), as muscles shorten, tension DECREASES!!! You may think shortening a fibre takes more intensity and therefore it fatigues quicker, but no, its rather the time under tension and tension itself that is important. Obviously exploit range of motion but that is all you can do. Flyes will help your inner chest no more than they help the outer. Try massaging your inner chest after a workout to encourage blood flow, because poor blood flow near to the tendons can prevent muscle repair.
2.) Doing a narrower grip will put emphasis on triceps thus taking it off the chest. Sure it is working the chest differently by pulling fibres in the sagittal plane rather than transverse, but since intensity is lower because of tricep involvement you will actually not be getting much chest benefit.
You can however work your lower pec which is the sternocostal head, but bare in mind whatever incline decline or flat you do, you are always using the chest as a whole anyway. Decline isn't the best way to work the lower pec, DIPS is. Elbows flared out, lean forward and press away. That targets the lower one like a b1tch.
Don't do incline since your upper chest is already developed. Its likely you have superior genetics for your upper chest if its better because flat bench will build both pec muscles equally . Decline presses will minimise anterior delt movement and recruitment and triceps to some degree. You will use more lat involvement though which allows a similar weight to flat benching to be used despite less shoulder or tricep.
Also perform scapular retraction, pull your blades in and do not allow shoulder protraction which involves the shoulder more in pressing movements. Keep them tugged back and press with your chest. Do a wide grip.
The ONLY way to better develop your inner chest is by developing the thing as a whole. Everyone has a genetic structure to their muscle so shape is different depending on the individual. However the further along in pec development you are, the more developed your lacking parts will be. There is nothing you can really do to grow the inner chest, you just have to work the whole chest to a high intensity and wait until it fills out as your pecs reach their maximum alloted size.
Here you go:
3 sets wide flat bench 8 reps to failure
4 sets dips 8 reps (2 short of failure)
3 sets decline bench 8 reps to failure
3 sets flyes 10 reps
Don't use cables, its not a mass exercise. Only do flyes for the stretch at the bottom (Loaded Passive Stretching). This stretch will stretch mostly the outer fibres but like I said before, that doesn't mean it won't help the inner grow because the muscle is under UNIFORM tension.
Afterwards do an isometric chest hug to squeeze it since its hard to get an Extended Peak Contraction in flyes. But always squeeze on the bench and dips.
And remember, your muscles are the way they are because of your genetics. You could have 22" arms and no biceps peak!!! You can't magically cause fibres to hypertrophy on the top of your biceps and no where else!!!! Tension is uniform along muscle fibres if there is a uniform contraction.
People that say cables and flyes help their inner chest are probably not realising they are just increasing overall pec development and are nearing full development which results in more uniform shape.
If you are feeling daring you COULD try guillotine presses to the neck using roughly 70% your usual weight. Lower slowly, then explode. You would need a spotter and to be extremely warm. Its a tough exercise for the shoulder, very tough, but some people find it of benefit. Maybe some kind of machine can do it so that its more stable. Probably better to just take the bar 2-3 inches higher than you usually do rather than do the whole thing
Sorry this thing is damn long, I've been constantly adding to it for a while, it started out small.
Last edited by Flexor; 09-22-2005 at 02:34 PM.
09-22-2005, 02:35 PM #3Originally Posted by Flexor
Same thing happened to me. I just did a dumbell routine for around six months and really squeezed my chest. I went as heavy as possible. My chest developed nicely from that and now i can do compound movements to build and my strenght is great. Now when im sore its throughout my whole just and not just the area you described. Try it. Hope this helped.
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